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This Week In Techdirt History: October 9th – 15th

from the doomed-to-repeat-it dept

Five Years Ago

This week in 2011, a terribly-kept secret was confirmed: the government worked with the RIAA/MPAA to negotiate the “six strikes” system. In Denmark, a judge handed down a crazy reward of 84% of the royalties for a song to the owner of a 10-second sample used therein. In Germany, the Pirate Party was building an impressive base of support, and better ideas about copyright were spreading through the government — even as infamous collection society GEMA was demanding licensing fees for songs it didn’t own. And one confused columnist was bemoaning the death of the “creative class” because… nobody works at Tower Records anymore.

Ten Years Ago

If you thought that was a bit late to still be lamenting the death of Tower Records, you’re right: five whole years earlier, the same week in 2006, people were doing the exact same thing (at the time it was two months after the company declared bankruptcy). Meanwhile, one movie executive was insisting that shortening release windows is technically impossible, while Intel and Morgan Freeman were continuing to vaguely promise a movie simultaneously released in theaters and online. But the big news of the week was Google’s confirmed purchase of YouTube, which spawned all sorts of speculation about the future, and of course an increased rate of lawsuit threats from media companies negotiating licensing deals with the platform.

Fifteen Years Ago

This week in 2001, a hoax story about the death of Britney Spears spawned conversation about how hard it is to figure out what’s true online. And indeed a prime example came that very week: we fell for a story about secret meetings between the RIAA and government officials that turned out to be entirely made up.

The hoaxes haven’t changed much, but we’ve upped our scrutiny. As for something that has really changed, get a blast from the past by looking at the 2006 browser statistics: Internet Explorer still dominated with 76% of traffic, and half of people were still surfing at a screen resolution of 800×600.

Thirty-Three Years Ago

In the western world, the first analog cellular network that took hold was the Analog Mobile Phone System, which followed networks deployed in Japan and Scandinavia. It was on October 13th, 1983 that AMPS was commercially introduced in the US, kickstarting the cellphone revolution.

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